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Added September 14th, 2015 by Ian

Roberta Vinci ousts Serena Williams in biggest-ever tennis upset then loses final

Thirty-two-year old Italian Roberta Vinci pulled off perhaps the greatest upset in women’s tennis history on September 11th when she ousted American Serena Williams from the U.S. Open semifinals in three sets. However, Vinci’s moment of glory didn’t last too long as she was beaten in the final in New York the next day by fellow county woman Flavia Pennetta in three sets. When the tournament began, a lot of bookmakers didn’t even offer betting odds on Vinci winning the tournament and the odds of Pennetta capturing the crown were about 200/1.

Against Vinci, Williams went into the match as the 30/1 favourite. She was entering her 47th Grand Slam semifinal showdown while it was the first ever for Vinci. Williams also had a 33-match winning streak on the go in Grand Slam events and had lost just 22 matches in the past decade. Vinci had already lost 24 matches this year alone and it was just the third major quarterfinal of her career. Williams had made three quarterfinals during the same year a total of 10 times.

The 43rd-ranked Vinci had six wins combined in every major this year while Williams won seven matches alone at Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian Open. Also Williams had reeled off 37 straight wins against players who were ranked 40th or lower. Vinci made it to the semifinal of the U.S. Open without having to beat a seeded player along the way. She was scheduled to meet 25th-ranked Genie Bouchard, but she withdrew from the event due to a concussion.

Most fans believed Williams would easily win the Grand Slam this year by adding the U.S. Open to the French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon, especially since Vinci’s recent record was 7-9 entering the tournament. Once Vinci took care of Williams it then appeared she’d be certain to beat the 33-year-old Pennetta in the Final, but it wasn’t to be. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock though since Pennetta was ranked 26th in the world.

Pennetta won the match 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 and then promptly retired as the second Italian female won win a major tennis tournament. The other was Francesca Schiavone who won the French open in 2010. However, after announcing her retirement, Pennetta said she’d play the remainder of the 2015 tennis season first. She will have a bit of extra cash to fall back on now as she pocketed a $3.3 million cheque for the win. Pennetta is the seventh-lowest ranked female to win a Grand Slam event. She beat a pair of top-five players in Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova before meeting Vinci and has now climbed to number eight in the rankings. She said she first played her friend Vinci in her homeland when she was just nine years old.

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